Patriot Battery Metals aims to fast-track Corvette lithium production

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Patriot Battery Metals (TSX: PMET; ASX: PMT) has leveraged its management’s acquisition successful Australia — nan world’s largest lithium shaper — to make lightning-fast advancement astatine its Corvette task successful Quebec.

From find successful 2017 to an first assets successful 2023 that outlined 1 of nan largest lithium pegmatite resources successful nan Americas, nan company’s now eyeing its adjacent milestone: A excavation that will provender into North America’s nascent EV proviso chain.

“The standard and nan location of nan Corvette task connote that it’s going to beryllium a useful task to thief underwrite nan equilibrium of nan proviso concatenation that’s required to support value-added chemicals nan power modulation requires,” CEO Ken Brinsden told The Northern Miner successful an question and reply successful February.

Patriot Battery Metals intends to fast-track Corvette lithium productionCOO Blair Way astatine nan Corvette tract performing wintertime prospecting. Credit: Patriot Battery Metals

Brindsen, who shepherded Pilbara Minerals from inferior explorer to a apical world lithium earthy materials entity, took nan reins astatine Patriot successful January.

The guidance shuffle saw him modulation from non-executive chair to CEO, president and managing head domiciled successful Montreal, while Blair Way, who has steered nan squad to this constituent arsenic CEO since May 2022 took nan COO domiciled to supply hands-on guidance arsenic Corvette moves done nan adjacent stages toward development.

With much than 100,000 metres of drilling, Patriot reported an first inferred assets for nan CV5 deposit past June of 109 cardinal tonnes astatine 1.42% lithium oxide for 1.6 cardinal tonnes lithium oxide.

Corvette, nan eighth largest lithium pegmatite globally, hosts ample spodumene crystals, enhancing processing ratio and betterment rates, Brinsden said. With C$133 cardinal successful costs arsenic of nan 2nd fiscal 4th — overmuch of it from Albemarle, which invested C$109 cardinal past twelvemonth — nan institution said it is well-financed to push guardant pinch exploration, method studies, and nan permitting process.

Quebec has go a difficult stone lithium hotspot arsenic companies vie to proviso nan electrical conveyance market. Last year, nan national authorities approved Galaxy Resources’ (now Arcadium Lithium (ASX: LTM)) James Bay open-pit project. Sayona Mining (ASX: SYA) began accumulation astatine its 75%-owned North American Lithium task successful Quebec past year. Perth’s Winsome Resources (ASX: WR1) precocious identified a important lithium resource, making Adina North America’s starring hard-rock lithium project.

The dense beingness of Australians is nary coincidence.

The established lithium marketplace successful Australia, bolstered by Chinese demand, has led to higher equity valuations for Australian lithium companies. Patriot’s Australian listing has fixed it entree to those aforesaid investors, which has partially driven its success.

Brinsden and Way, successful abstracted interviews, said they some expect that arsenic North America and Europe create their lithium proviso chains, Canadian projects for illustration Corvette could spot akin increases successful valuation and investor interest.

Aussie hard-rock experience

Brinsden views nan strategical geographical advantages of Western Australian mines successful serving North Asian markets are comparable pinch Quebec’s imaginable to cater to North America and Europe. Way and Brinsden some spot nan geographical positioning of their task arsenic a cardinal advantage, pinch Quebec’s resources for illustration Corvette poised to trim reliance connected distant supplies and perchance Western proviso chains.

While nan Australian hard-rock lithium mining manufacture benefits from beardown ties pinch China, driving demand, investment, and growth, dependency connected China besides exposes nan proviso concatenation to geopolitical and economical risks. Brinsden says North America’s existent push to diversify relationships and debar reliance connected a azygous marketplace to create resilient lithium proviso chains is simply a bully call.

In his experience, nan Australian authorities has had a hands-off attack compared pinch nan proactive, supportive stance of Canada’s Quebec province, and nan coordinated attack to manufacture maturation laid retired successful nan national Critical Minerals Strategy.

Discovery to resource

The find of a awesome spodumene lithium deposit successful nan Americas stemmed from a antecedently overlooked early 2000s geological study by Virginia Mining, which, contempt focusing connected guidelines and precious metals, contained a footnote successful French indicating nan beingness of lithium-rich spodumene.

Seizing this clue, nan squad utilized Google Earth to find and past liking a pegmatite outcrop, now known arsenic CV1.

Patriot Battery Metals intends to fast-track Corvette lithium productionAn outcrop of lithium-rich pegmatite astatine Patriot’s Corvette property. Credit: Patriot Battery Metals

At this time, portion of nan spot was nether nan power of Osisko Mining owed to a bid of acquisitions but was not being actively explored for lithium. Patriot Battery Metals (formerly known arsenic 92 Resources and past Gaia Metals) negotiated an action statement betwixt 2016 and 2017 erstwhile nan lithium marketplace was starting to power up.

Despite first exploration challenges and a impermanent lull successful lithium prices, nan institution kept nan action statement alive.

During nan early days of nan covid-19 pandemic erstwhile recreation restrictions constricted Way’s expertise to activity internationally, he advocated for drilling, which started arsenic lithium prices began to retrieve successful 2020.

The institution rebranded to Patriot Battery Metals successful June 2021, and raised money for much extended drilling earlier acquiring nan task outright. Drilling occurrence passim 2021 and 2022 attracted strategical investments, notably C$109 cardinal from Albemarle, a starring world lithium producer, past year.

The finance astatine C$15.20 per stock implied a valuation connected a afloat diluted ground of C$2.2 cardinal – a acold outcry from its caller marketplace capitalization of C$801.9 cardinal astatine C$6.96 per share.

2024 catalysts

Brinsden says Patriot is committed to a strategy of responsible but accelerated development. Brinsden’s expertise is shaping a mining cognition that prioritizes extraction and ecological and societal integrity.

“We’re not conscionable astir mining lithium; we’re laying nan groundwork for a cleaner, much sustainable world,” Brinsden said, outlining nan big-picture vision.

“Our find astatine Corvette is not conscionable astir unveiling a lithium deposit; it’s astir reshaping nan early of power successful North America,” Way said.

This year, Patriot intends to present an updated assets estimate for CV5 by nan 3rd quarter, moving towards a prefeasibility study by year-end and advancing permitting.

It besides plans to grow exploration and drilling, pinch CV13 and further pegmatite clusters CV8, CV9, CV10, and CV12 getting much attention. The institution besides intends to show nan exploration imaginable on nan 50-km lithium pegmatite inclination astatine nan Corvette property, including assessing unexplored sections and discovering caller spodumene clusters.

Source Mining News
Mining News